HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL. – The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Wednesday approved funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to be used to replace three Hillsborough County Fire Stations that have reached the end of their practical operational life.
The Hillsborough County American Rescue Plan Investment Plan provides a framework for investing $285 million in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the community. Wednesday’s BOCC action directs $18 million from ARPA to help replace these stations.
The three stations slated for replacement using the ARPA funding include:
- Station 10 in Armdale — $5.8 million
- Station 13 on Gunn Highway — $6 million
- Station 15 in Palm River — $6.2 million
The three stations are at or near 50 years old. These stations are beyond their functional life expectancy, are dated in their design/features, and require increasing operational costs to maintain and operate at the expected service level necessary to protect residents in their communities.
Their replacements will expand their capacities with more bays that can accommodate more apparatus, and they will feature contemporary design and technology.
By funding and programming the replacement of these stations, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) will be able to house its first responders in stations with advanced design features like decontamination suites. The suites allow first responders to remove protective gear, which often contains carcinogenic and other harmful particulate matter, and decontaminate before entering the station. Design and technology advancements create a clean living and working environment for first responders during their respective 24-hour shift in the station.
Additionally, by increasing the size and number of apparatus bays at the station, more response units, such as rescue units and other specialized equipment, may be deployed at more stations and in more locations around Hillsborough County. This additional capacity will enable HCFR to more efficiently respond to an ever-increasing call volume from a rapidly growing and aging population, and effectively allocate resources and personnel to adequately respond to global epidemics and natural hazards.
HCFR is responsible for the timely response to fire, medical, and other emergencies. HCFR’s more than 1,100 first responders currently serve residents from 46 fire stations distributed throughout Hillsborough County.
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